About the Webmaster
As an IT professional, it goes without question that I am interested in web technologies. I am someone that always has a ton of side projects. In hopes of sharing some of my hobbies and projects, I started this site as yet another project. Unfortunately, because of school and partly because of those other projects, I have not had the time to share as much as I would like. Overall, my goal with this site is to have a chance to learn more about the best practices for web development while eventually sharing some of my other interests as well.
Web Development Interests
I am involved in all aspects of web development from the web server and database all the way through to the user interface. Although I don't really have a talent for design, I do what I can with simplified interfaces and focus more of my efforts on functionality.
I am also working on my own PHP framework that I hope to release as an open-source project soon. This is a project that I started while working in my first web development job to reduce the repetition of building forms over and over again for content management systems. The creation of forms was greatly simplified through this framework while ensuring the forms were built with proper markup and adhered to web standards. The framework has expanded from simply building forms and continues to grow. This has been a project that I could apply some of my software engineering education to, including my interest in design patterns.
I have bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, so the technical aspects peak my interest and I'm always looking to learn more about the latest and greatest techniques.
While attending college, I held a number of positions relating to IT. I started out as a computer lab assistant and was promoted to a position where I maintained a number of labs across campus.
After a few years, I had the opportunity to work as the web programmer for the university's web site. This is where I really started gaining some great experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to apply so many of the things that I had been learning in class, but I also gained exposure to may things that I had not had the opportunity to work with in the past. This was my first true exposure to writing software for the web since I had done little more than write static HTML pages previously. Our servers used perl and PHP as the server-side languages, which I had never used. I was also just starting my first database class. This turned out to be great timing since I had the chance to learn in class and apply at work, helping improve my skill set for both class and work.
During the last two summers of my college career, I had the opportunity to intern with Deere & Company. During the first internship, I was a web developer working mostly on a Java applet and web services. I even gained the experience of aquiring a digital certificate from VeriSign. My second summer gave me a chance to work with a new computing device prototype and to research Ajax and how it could be applicable at Deere. You can read my Ajax survey paper here.
I currently work full time for Deere in the IT Early Development Program. This program consists of three one-year rotations to give experience in a number of areas before starting a more permanent role. I am spending my first rotation in a development role where I have the opportunity to apply some of the web development techniques that I know that are new to the team.
My interests outside of the IT world are quite broad. I love motorsports, whether on the track, in the dirt, on the water, etc. I own three Chevys, my daily driver: a 2007 Monte Carlo, and what are now my toys: a 1995 K1500 Z71 and a 1992 Camaro RS. I just finished overhauling the engine in the Camaro with the help of one of my best friends. The truck is in line for the next project with the lift that I have been planning for far too long. I am also starting to get into tuning OBDI computers, which both the truck and Camaro use.
I am much more at home in the country than in the city and love the outdoors. I really miss being back home where I had places that I could ride quads, go camping and canoeing, and work on my vehicles. I enjoy water sports including boating and jet skiing, and hope to learn to sail at some point. I also enjoy skiing and snowboarding, and look forward to skydiving in the future.
Growing up with a mother that is a Biology teacher, that became another big interest of mine. I am very interested in neurology and hope to have the opportunity to do research in that field some day. There is so much that is still unknown about the human brain that today's researchers are just beginning to understand what makes us who we are. Research in neuroelectronics has also begun making progress, which is especially exciting to me because it investigates the possibilities of making physical connections between the brain and electronic devices, lending itself to endless possibilities for computer scientists like myself.